Well, this is something I didn't anticipate. Dan Bartlett's stepping down effective July 4 (though he does not yet have another job lined up). The most amusing part of the news is his wife's comment, which makes the whole, "spend time with my family" charade much more credible:
With twin, 3-year-old boys and another son born in January, Bartlett said it was time to pursue a new chapter of his life and "reacquaint myself with my family." His wife, Allyson, had joked that they should name their newborn "Exit Strategy."
And do any of the Kremlinologists want to parse these statements:
It is a point of pride with Bartlett that he is Bush's longest serving staffer _ longer than even political strategist Karl Rove, another Bush confidant whose tenure was interrupted by work as a political consultant. Before teaming up with Bush, Bartlett worked for Rove's Austin-based consulting firm.
Bartlett said he would not write a book about his experiences, would not seek a political career in Texas and would not align himself with any Republican candidate in the 2008 presidential election.
He said he had no regrets about the Iraq war and he believes Bush's low approval ratings were the result of making tough decisions.
"It will be one of those things, when I hang up the spurs for the last time, I'll be able to look in the mirror and say, `I know this president and this White House did what they thought was right.' And at the end of the day, that's all you can do." [my emphasis]
Just jumping off the political track altogether, and leaving office without first lining up the sinecure.
And while I don't think it's related, I'm reminded that Bartlett remains one of the two best candidates to be "1" in 1X2X6.
Karl Rove, meanwhile, has lost Sara Taylor and Dan Bartlett in remarkably short succession.